For the third day in a row, natural gas futures were higher early Wednesday as the recent cool weather was set to fade by the week, ushering in what is expected to be the hottest weather of the summer to date. The September Nymex gas futures contract was trading around $4.110/MMBtu at 8:45 a.m. ET, up about 8.5 cents from Tuesday’s close.

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Bespoke Weather Services said long-range weather forecasts remained stable again Wednesday morning. The outlook showed next week as the “hottest week of the summer,” thanks to widespread 90s across the Midwest and East underneath a strong upper level ridge in the six to 10-day period. A couple of days next week are forecast to reach near daily records in terms of national gas-weighted degree days.

“Heat does come off somewhat as we...